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Memory of The World


Handan Börüteçene

“I work like the ancients. They wrote dramas full of History, Philosophy and Tragic myths. Inspired by love. As I am.’*
20.6.1910 – Alexandria K. KavafiS

  • The memory of the Earth comprises the knowledge arising from the communication between cultures and the dialogue between man and nature.
    I couldn’t create anything should the memory of earth didn’t exist My memory is also a part of the memory of earth.
    June 1990. Crete
  • 7 would rather leam the cause of a phenomenon than be the King of Persia.” That goes for me too, Democritus.
    May 1989. Theimussa – Üçağız Bay
  • Archaeology and nature are both fields that yield objective trbth. The finds discovered beneath the soil in archaeological excavations are true and genuine. When I examine the strata descending right into the depths of the soil I realise that cultures have come down to us in layers piled one on top of the other. It is these layers that are the genuine history books… the genuine records…
    (Quite unlike official history books.)

Like the fossil of a grain of wheat found in a layer from the Neolithic period… Then a grain of wheat in a later, and a still later layer, until we find the same grain of wheat irr,l the soil we walk on today. It is the same with the pomegranate, the bay leaf or sugar beet. Just like the stones and the rocks, for no living organism hidden within the rock can change its form. It remains exactly the same within its own particular layer. The fossil of a fish can never change and try to trick me into believing it is the fossil of a frog.
It is only governments that take it upon themselves to alter the facts of memory and history.
Ml992. Olimpos – Qrali

  • True history is the history of nature and human culture. This is true’Tor our own world and even for the whole universe.
    The essential thing jk;a true and objective reading, at this particular point in time, of what has been brought down to us by the process of time and that will go on to the future.
    December 1991. Paris
  • The Memory of the Earth exhibition should be in tripartite form. Three different exhibitions in three different cities. The reason for the choice of these three different places should stem from my own personal history. Three geographical points, Istanbul / Ankara / Paris.
    September 1992. Istanbul
  • My memory is buried in my brain, my brain in my body. Like the coffer containing my body. The venue of an exhibition is like the body of the works I have arranged inside it.
    The body of the Ankara exhibition should be the room in the Museum of Anatolian Civilisations in which the Hittite orthostats stand.
    After a reading of “Anatolian flora of the Hittite period according to the Bogazkoy texts” and making the acquaintance of Piha, where else could it possibly be?
    October 1992. Istanbul
  • I have called them the coffer of memory. They ought to take the visual languages from the cultural cross sections I have seen in excavation layers and geological strata… I will place the plants and seeds we know to have existed in the Anatolia of the Hittite period in the layers in the coffer of memory. I should collect each one of them the same geographical places…
    November 1992. Paris
  • The collection of plants and seeds takes a great deal of time…
    10.6.1994. Bmali
  • I chose exactly 12 points from the orthostats in room A. The coffers of memory should stop in front or beside these reliefs and talk with them of yesterday and today. Most of the “objects” depicted in these reliefs are still found and are still being produced in the same places. This continuity should take its place in the coffers of memory. Exactly like my glass balls and traces of bodies that I have defined as life itself. Traces of a human being.
    May 1993. Ankara
  • The arrangement of my works is complete. Now everything is in its proper place.
    21 April 1995. Ankara
  • Essentially, my work, in this space in which the museum visitor believes that he is examining the traces of a no longer living culture, is like a mirror showing that these are still alive even today, that no culture ever wholly dies, and that in actual fact cultures have survived to the present day in dialogues that have formed in layers one upon the other. It is a mirror that reminds us that when we say “zeytin” for “olive” in Turkish today, in Hittite it was “zertun”. Just as the fragrance of the bay leaf has remained the same… Just as the wooden wheel is made today iff exactly the same way. And just as there is no dead nature, there is no dead culture. Because nothing ceases to exist… It dissolves… It changes form… It takes its place in new formations… It continues in the universe.
    June 1995. Kaş / Meis

Memory Of The World
1995, The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, Ankara